Paul Gray, 1972-2010

ON MAY 24, PAUL GRAY WAS FOUND dead in a hotel room outside Des Moines, Iowa.
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ON MAY 24, PAUL GRAY WAS FOUND dead in a hotel room outside Des Moines, Iowa. He was 38. Gray was a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning band Slipknot, which developed a massive following after emerging from the Iowa club scene in the late ’90s. Typically identified by the numbers the mask-wearing musicians wore on their sleeves, Gray was known to most fans as “#2” or “the pig.”

The California-born musician moved as a child to Iowa, where he began playing bass in such local metal bands as Anal Blast, Vexx, Body Put, and Inveigh Catharsi. He co-founded Slipknot in 1995. Gray cited Flea, Les Claypool, and Cliff Burton as early influences, and told BASS PLAYER that it wasn’t long after switching to bass (from guitar) that he began to expand his musical horizons by listening to players like Stu Hamm, Jaco Pastorius, and Victor Wooten.

“I don’t go up there to show off,” the lefthanded Gray told BASS PLAYER in 2005. “I could if I wanted to, but it’s not what our band needs. [Skeptics] look at us and go, ‘The band has sold millions of records and wears masks, so obviously they can’t actually play their instruments.’ But we can actually all play our instruments well. We’re out here playing shows to a lot of kids and having a good time doing it, and that’s really all that matters to me.” Gray is survived by his wife Brenna, who is expecting the couple’s first child.


Bill Willis, 1931–2010

ON FEBRUARY 9TH, 2010 BILL WILLIS died at age 78. Willis was a smooth, solid, and articulate bassist, organist, and vocalist who sparked some of the strongest grooves to come out of the King Records studios, playing with such artists as Charles Brown, James Brown, Hank Ballard, LaVerne Baker, Little Willie John, Freddie King, Lloyd Price, and Syd Nathan.

Paul McCartney to begin 'Up and Coming' 2010 tour

 Paul McCartney has announced the first two dates of his forthcoming, extensive 'Up and Coming' 2010 tour.  In keeping with his headline-making special concerts over the last few years, the tour will see the iconic star and his band play unique venues, places and locations; new cities he's never played and familiar markets he's not visited for a while.

Paul Romanko On Sonic Simplicity

SHADOWS FALL BASSIST PAUL Romanko talks of his desire to craft “simple” bass lines, but even a cursory listen to his band’s brutal sonic assault raises questions about that descriptor. Straightforward and effective, perhaps, but simple … not so much. Romanko’s no-frills approach comes from nearly 15 years of developing his sound with the melodic metalcore outfit, working diligently and scientifically in the studio to hone his tone. The Grammy-nominated band has just embarked on a world tour in support if its new release, Retribution.